The Department “System and Policies” observes and analyses the continuing education system in Germany. It focuses on the social and institutional framework of continuing education and training, on relevant actors from education policy and civil society, as well as on the impact of their actions on training providers, provision, and participation. In addition, the department's researchers examine the effects of participation in continuing education and training on individuals and society.

The overarching question is: How can we explain the structure and evolution of continuing education systems and how this understanding can contribute to inform and steer continuing education policies? To this end, the department has established three successive work priorities.

Collecting data for research, educational monitoring and reporting

The importance of data-based information for research and reporting on continuing education and training is high; therefore, the continuous development of the fragmented data base is  a central concern of the department.

In cooperation with the Statistics Team in the Research Infrastructures Division, the System and Policies Department is involved in the collection and statistical processing of data on continuing education providers on an annual basis: these include the statistics of the German Adult Education Centre Association (DVV) and of the Continuing Education Providers Network (Verbund) as well as, in cooperation with the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB), a survey on providers of continuing vocational and general education and training ("wbmonitor"). Further research is being carried out to analyse the quality of central databases for continuing training and their development potential.

Generating evidence-based knowledge to inform and steer policies 

A good data base is also an essential prerequisite for the department's second focus: the provision of policy-relevant knowledge about the effects of policy action on the continuing training system at the national and federal state level.

This is where Fabian Rüter's junior research group, which is affiliated to the department, comes in: it is investigating the significance of implementation contexts for the effectiveness of educational policy interventions in the multi-level system of continuing education.

The department further analyses the effects of institutional frameworks as well as the outcomes of participation in continuing education, especially with regard to non-monetary outcomes by using causal analyses of secondary data.

Providing educational reporting

As the third strand of “System and Policies”, educational reporting draws on the expertise of the first two strands and describes continuing education systems based on meaningful indicators and key figures. The department supports the Scientific Director in his work in the "National Report on Education" and regularly contributes to the "Vocational Education and Training Report" of the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB)". Within the framework of the Municipal Education Management Transfer Agencies, the division supports municipalities in the implementation of municipal education monitoring.

Project overview

All projects of the department „System und Policies“

Head of department

Prof. Dr. Andreas Martin

Photo: Sandra Seifen 

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